It’s summer, and while we’re sure you’ve got plenty of things already on your to-do list, we’re here to make that list just a smidge longer. And maybe rearrange your priorities a little? Don’t worry, it’s nothing too wacky; we’re just here to recommend a new book series to obsess over! Let’s be real: we can’t get enough of fantasy stories set in a school. Harry Potter still withstands the test of time, for one; and there’s no doubt that Naomi Novik’s A Deadly Education will, too!
The story revolves around a place called the Scholomance, where magically-gifted children are sent to learn the ways of sorcery. The catch? There are no teachers there. There are only monsters lurking at every corner, so survival skills need to be second nature to students if they want to get out alive. But the magic they need to defend themselves isn’t always readily available. It costs mana to perform magic, something only the bigshots coming from Enclaves have access to by the gallon. The rest of the students need to be a lot more cautious and resourceful; but these traits alone can never guarantee their safety, for no room or corridor is ever really safe…
Magic? Check! Dystopia? Check! Cultural diversity? Double check!
A Deadly Education has just the kind of representation we need. For starters, the star of the show, Galadriel Higgins, is half-Indian. In addition, she’s got a chilling prophecy weighing over her head that’s sure to spell out destruction for everyone around her. Even if she thinks she’s alone, she’s got characters like Yi Liu and Aadhya to call friends. Not to mention the charismatic knight-in-shining-armor, Orion Lake; who always seems to come to her rescue in dangerous situations whether she likes it or not.
Spells and incantations that the students learn and use to defend themselves come in several languages as well; including Sanskrit, Mandarin, French, Arabic, Latin, and more. The book also makes sure to acknowledge the real-world lore from which some of these spells are derived, so that’s yet another plus! (Although we can’t guarantee you’ll see shadowy fireballs spew from your fingers if you try chanting the spells, since you don’t have the mana required for it. Or do you…?)
All in all, the story is a sorceress’s survival guide (and perhaps a guide on how NOT to make friends but still somehow attract them anyway). You’ll definitely imagine yourself as a student in the Scholomance; staying wary of monsters left and right while simultaneously keeping your grades up.
Do you think you would be able to survive even a single semester here, let alone four years?
We wouldn’t wanna give away the crux of the book, but it must be said that it ends on quite the cliffhanger. You’ll be biting your nails down to their beds, wondering what’ll happen next; only to see that the second book in the series hasn’t been released yet (sigh…). But fear not, for the next part is coming out soon! Keep an eye out for The Last Graduate, set to release September 28! We’re sure that A Deadly Education, and the Scholomance series as a whole, will pull you into a world that’ll put your summer vacation to shame.
Header: A Deadly Education (X)